Sri Lanka has a glittering history for its gems, hence this enchanted island was better known as the “Rathna Deepa” or Gem Island in the ancient history. According to our Buddhist history the Lord Buddha has visited Sri Lanka to solve a probable war between two kings “Cchulodhara” “Mhodhara”over a gem studded plate. King “Soloman” has sent his agents to this island to purchase priceless gem stones when he wanted to win the heart of queen “Sheeba “. Famous travelers such as Iban Batuta, Pahiyan and Marco Polo have mentioned about this natural wealth of Sri Lanka in their personnel notes. Marco Polo wrote of his visit in 1292: “I want you to understand that the island of Ceylon is, for its size, the finest island in the world, and from its streams comes rubies, sapphires, topazes, amethyst and garnet.”
Sri Lanka has been known for its fabulous rubies and especially blue sapphires, all over the world. Although African countries like Tanzania,Mozambic and Madagacar also famous for blue sapphires, the largest stones can only be found in Sri Lanka. When Prince William chose a Sri Lankan Blue sapphire as the engagement ring for his royal bride Kate Middleton, Sri Lankan sales of the gem took an immediate boost. And he didn’t even buy a new one, since the duchess now wears the ring Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, wore.
This year, sales went up 37%. “The National Gem and Jewellery(sic) Authority says the value totals $77 million so far this year, boosted by Middle East demand for blue sapphires.” And all parts of the world have participated in the buying boom, thanks to Kate Middleton’s enormous popularity.
“Sri Lanka is favorably located on international shipping lanes, which make it a natural export and transshipment hub” with access to 1.5 billion people in its neighborhood, reported executives in the investment group which has profited most. And most of that blue sapphire frenzy can be traced directly back to the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
“Star of Sri Lanka” is the best Sri Lankan icon related to gems, which considered as the World’s third largest blue sapphire. “Aara Nul” as local dialect, in this kind of blue sapphires six rays positioned in the centre of the face. Originally founded from a mine in Elahera Haththota amuna in Matale District in 1973 this rough stone was purchased by the National Gem and Jewellery Authority and carbon cut in to two stones. The bigger of the two 393 Carat stone was named as the “Star of Sri Lanka” for its unique features of six-rayed star positioned at the center of the dome-shaped face, with its arms extending down to the base of the stone, and for the perfect grayish blue color. Normally both the perfect blue color and the six rays do not appear together in sapphires found from rest of the world. The Gem and Jewellery Authority has not yet set a price for this priceless stone.
“Ray of Treasure” is another priceless stone in the gem collection of Sri Lanka National Gem & Jewellery Authority. An exquisite Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye of 105 carats, recently mined in the gem gravels of Sri Lanka, displays the most desirable qualities of a ‘Milk and Honey’ effect, good transparency and a well-defined silver ray. While being a nearly flawless specimen, its cut and proportions are excellent.
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